A retired Clonmel couple, Seamus and Carol Moore, have been reported as safe and well following the grounding of the Costa Concordia cruise ship on Friday night (January 13th) off the west coast of Italy in which at least 11 people are known to have died.
The cruise ship with 4,200 people – including 1,000 crew – on board was en route to Savona when it appears to have struck a submerged rock and keeled over on its side near the tiny island of Giglio. The majority of people were evacuated via lifeboat amid chaotic scenes of panic. Five helicopters and other surface vessels were involved in the rescue.
Mr and Mrs. Moore, who took the cruise to celebrate a birthday, were over two hours on deck before being rescued. In a radio interview, Mr. Moore stated that he thought he and his wife were going to die. They are being assisted by officials from the Department of Foreign Affairs.
Media reports indicate that 16 people remain unaccounted for and rescue crews have been searching the unsubmerged section of the ship while divers are searching the submerged areas. No other Irish citizens are known to have been aboard when the incident occurred.
Passengers shot video footage of the evacuation and arrival on land.